Giving life to new things: Local artist turns passion into job - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Giving life to new things: Local artist turns passion into job

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Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2019 8:45 pm

Born and raised in Brownsville, Ashley Jaross always dreamt of being part of the fashion world. With movies like “Clueless” being an inspiration, Jaross opened her clothing store “Junkie Vintage” to repurpose items and create her own designs.

Jaross spends up to 14 hours a day searching for unique items at vintage and thrift stores in Brownsville and Austin to “give them life” and sell them in pop-ups such as the one she does for 7th and Park some Saturdays.

“The idea started when I was a child, I just always loved clothes, thrifting here in Brownsville and redesigning the clothes. Then, when I moved to Austin it just opened my eyes about how big it could be, how I could actually make it profitable; it was a passion and it worked out,” she said in an interview.

The vintage store owner came back to Brownsville after finishing a degree in Psychology. She said when living in Austin she started to see the need Brownsville has for unique clothing and fashion platforms.

“Fashion doesn’t have to be boring and I love that Betsey Johnson mixes fashion and art and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Jaross said. “I’m working on putting that material together and creating my own clothes and then transforming the clothes I have into different things with the new materials … giving life to new things.”

Jaross said vintage clothes last more than fast fashion items that are designed to last a short period of time. She said there’s a use for everything and reusing clothes also helps the environment.

“There are so many items that I just feel bad when they’re thrown away and there’s still so much life to them and people are just throwing money and paying money to buy stuff that it’s not as good, it’s not going to last like these vintage stuff that has been going around for so many years and it is still way better than what you’d buy new,” she said. “I feel that there’s a use for everything.”

Jaross said even though having your own businesses is stressful; she would not change it for any other job. She will be having a fashion show at the end of the year in collaboration with other local artists.

“I think it’s a lot of work but do it, it’s so fulfilling and even the most stressed out times I would still choose this over any job, any day,” she said. “There’s not words for it and it is just the best thing I could have ever thought of doing and it is especially women who don’t get the representation that they should; just start today, start your own thing and do what you’re passionate about.”

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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